On Fitness & Finance

If there are two things that we as American’s struggle with, it’s fitness and finances. Not surprisingly, they have so much in common.

WIth fitness and just general health, we choose high calorie, fatty foods because they taste good at the moment, even though we all know they will have serious consiquences. Don’t get me wrong, I love the occasional Five Guys burger or a big slice of cake and ice cream as much as everyone else, but if we eat like that all of the time, we’re going to get out of shape.

We do the same with finances. We elect to take out debt and buy things we can’t really afford because we want them at the moment, event if we don’t really need them.

For the most part, money and fitness are pretty simple. Calories in, calories out. Dollars in, dollars out. You can eat 12,000 calories a day like Michael Phelps, but you better have an 8 hour workout to go along with that appetite. Sam with money, you can buy expensive toys and homes, but you better have the money to back it up.

It’s so easy to make poor choices in both of these areas. Lord knows I do.

Self control is sometimes painfully difficult, but it’s also the biggest determiner of success in fitness and finance.

For me, the biggest thing that has helped in both of these areas is accountability. It could be your spouse, your friend, or a family member, but have someone to help you stay accountable with your money and with your health, it’ll make you much more likely to be successful.

Lincoln, Happy 3rd Birthday

Dear Lincoln,

Today you turned three. It seems like just yesterday when you arrived. I can’t believe how big you’ve grown, you are amazing. We started the morning with a pancake breakfast and now you’re off to homeschool co-op with your brothers for the morning.

A year ago we had your second birthday party at Chick-fil-a. You had tons of friends there, but somehow, everyone got sick 24 hours later. It was a mess, not as fun as planned, but a funny memory now that it’s past.

This year was a big year for you. You learned to talk much better, you can count pretty well, you’re learning your colors and shapes, and most importantly, you don’t wear diapers anymore. You were not officially on any sports teams, but you enjoyed going with your brothers to baseball, soccer, and football. You can hold you’re own with kids much older and are going to be a great athlete someday.

You spent a lot of time with friends and family this year. The Webster’s are like your second set of brothers and there are few you love to smash swords with more then Tyler. Although you may not know it yet, we’ve made a pact with the Pacetti family for you to marry Addie — she’s pretty, smart, has solid parents and can hold up to you in an eating contest.

You spent the night a few times with Gigi & Gramps and Aunt Katie & Uncle David. You love Gigi & Gramp’s chickens from a distance but are not as big a fan of Murphy (Katie & David’s dog).

We had more fun this year than any of us deserve, we got to go to the Zoo, The Mountains, The Beach, and Legoland. (When I was a kid…. oh nevermind.)

The most challenging part of the year (and your life) was during our vacation to Hammock Beach. We were on the last day of vacation and you tripped and fell in the hall. I picked you up and put you back on your feet but you couldn’t stand. We didn’t know it at the time, but you had broken your femur. We took you to Daytona’s hospital and were transported to Wolfson’s in Jacksonville. They couldn’t set your leg until the next morning. Those hours were the longest of my life. I would have traded places with you in an instant. Seeing you lay helpless and in severe pain was possibly the most difficult day of my life. The next 6 weeks you spent in an almost full body cast. You couldn’t sit up or lay down, but you handled it like a trooper. It was a tough 6 weeks, but your brothers and your mother help make it as easy as possible.

You’d never know now that you were in such a sad state with your leg, you run with the best of them and are as crazy as ever.

You’re favorite toy is Lightening McQueen or anything Cars related. You’ll carry those cars around all day long.

At your age, you won’t remember most of this, but I’ve got the pictures to prove it. This year we laughed a lot, cried a little, and grew together.

My greatest desire for you is that you will learn to know Christ and follow his path all the days of your live. Know that there is only one person on this planet that I love more than you and your brothers, and that is your mother. She is a selfless, loving, beautiful, incredible mother, teacher, wife, and best friend to your daddy. She is so good to us and deserves for you to respect her in every way as you grow.

If you don’t marry Addie as planned, look for a woman like your mother and your life will only be the better for it.

Happy 3rd Birthday to you, our baby, Lincoln Graham Owen. I love you.

Daddy

Birthday Letters

Today I’m starting a tradition of writing a public letter to each of our boys on their birthdays. I want to be able to remember the details years from now and for them to have something to read over the years as the cards get thrown away.

Why I’m Voting for Mitt Romney

After watching 14 debates, reading countless articles, and combing through every candidates websites, videos, and policies, I’ve decided that Mitt Romney is my guy.

He is not a perfect candidate, he is not a perfect person, and I don’t agree with everything he believes. Lets be real though, there is no such thing as perfect in this world. I do believe he is the best choice of the current candidates for many reason and I want to share why I believe that.

Some of these points will seem catty or unimportant to some, but I’ll explain why I think each are important. These are in no specific order…

1. Electability: In my opinion, Romney is the most capable of winning the general election (for many of the reasons below). This matters simply because if you can’t get elected, it doesn’t matter how great you are.

2. Poise: Unlike many of the other candidates, he has done very well under pressure and attack. Just about every other campaign and the media have come at him hard on his record, his policies, and his beliefs. He is able to clearly reply without getting too steamed up, and clarify any confusion. This matters for two reasons. First, because he will face the most well organized, powerful, and high dollar attacks against him in the general election and must be able to overcome them. Secondly, being a good president requires Poise.

3. Organization: His campaign has shown that it is prepared with strong, ground games in many states, a great online presence, and well done ads. This may seem silly, but his campaign is the only one (other than Obama’s) who has a website that’s mobile compatible. Why does a mobile website matter? Because it shows his campaign organizers care about the details and are prepared with the latest technology. It’s 2012, why in the world don’t all of the candidates have a mobile compatible website?

4. Experience: Romney has a wide range of experience. He offers a vast level of private sector experience dealing with massive company investments on a global level. He was successfully tenured as the governor of one of the most liberal states in the country. He also has experience turning around a very large organization in the Olympics along with his experience campaigning. These things matter, they give him perspective in different areas and they allow him to govern in a way that will be more effective for the country and the people.

5. Leadership: I believe Mitt is the strongest leader of the group. Others may have better vision or policy ideas in some areas, but overall, Mitt stands out as more Presidential. I believe he will bring together the right group better than any of the others. The President doesn’t need to have all of the best ideas, he just needs to know how to bring all of the people with the best ideas together, I believe Romney will do that based on his experience.

6. Faith & Family: There are a lot of thing I disagree with about the Mormon religion, but I’m not selecting my pastor, I’m selecting my President. What I see as key to Mitt’s success is that his family stands with him. His wife is always on the trail with him, his 5 sons are out all of the time supporting him. This was one of the things that was always questionable for me about Cain. You never saw his family with him. He talked about them, but you never saw them. Mitt’s family is there, they seem like a strong, loving, supportive unit, and I think that’s important for a President to have.

These are not all of the reasons, but they are some of the key reasons that come to mind. As with any decision process, part of that process is deciding why NOT to select one of the other candidates, here are a few reasons I decided against other candidates and for Romney.

Why NOT Ron Paul? Look, I actually like Ron Paul. I love that he has been one of the most consistent candidates on his core beliefs on liberty and freedom. Those things matter, A LOT, but I don’t believe he is electable in the general election, I think his foreign policy is too radical, he does not really have any executive experience, and I’m not convenced he could bring people together in a way that would be required to be what America needs in a president now.

Why NOT Newt Gingrich? Newt is the idea man and I like good ideas. Most of what he is saying in the campaign is VERY comptable with what I believe. I really love his debate style and sheer knowledge of the political system, BUT I have big reservations over his electability in the general election, his political “baggage” and his recent support of climate issues with Nancy Pelosi and his tendency to be somewhat unpredictable about what he’s going to say or how he’s going to handle any given situation. Newt would make a great VP, but I don’t see that happening either.

Why NOT Rick Santorum? He tends to take things too far. From Iran to gay marriage to any number of other topics, he tends to be too aggressive in his stance toward some topics in a way that I think doesn’t look or sound presidential. Why does that matter? For the same reason I don’t want someone out representing my business dressed like a clown.

Why NOT Rick Perry? Do I need to detail this one?

Why NOT Jon Huntsman? Huntsman’s got a great track record as governor, his jobs ideas are very well reviewed, and I think he knows his stuff. I am concerned he comes off as a little soft on China. I believe Romney is right about his strong stance on putting China in their place and we need someone that’s willing to stand up to them in the next four years. Also, honestly, he annoys me. The way he talks, the way he acts, his random chinese. Not a good reason not to vote for someone, but it’s the truth. Huntsman would also be a great VP selection, but I don’t think he’ll be Romney’s pick. 

So that’s it. It’s not perfect, but on January 31st, I’ll be headed to the polls here in Florida to place my vote for Mitt Romney. I believe he can beat Barrack Obama. I believe he will be a strong leader for America and I believe he knows what steps to take in order to help get Governemnt out of the way and allow business to turn this economy around.

I hope you’ll join me in voting for Mitt in the primary and most importantly, in the general election.